Research Fellows Directory
Dr Salvador Navarro-Martinez
Imperial College London
Fluids are around us every day. We drink water; breath air and we fill our cars with petrol. Fluids sustain us and provide us with energy. Most of the energy production is based on the interaction of two types of fluids: liquids (generally the fuel) and gases (the oxidizer). In this interaction, the liquid breaks-up in to small fragments that form "droplets" in a process called "atomization". The efficiency of the energy system depends on how the drops are formed and their size distribution. For example, in combustion process, small droplets imply better vaporization and more efficient combustion with fewer pollutant emissions.
Despite the importance of the droplets size distribution, mathematical models are as yet unable to predict accurately how droplets form; or the dependence, for example, on fuel injectors geometry or fluid properties.
My research aims to understand the atomization process using novel computational techniques, borrowing ideas from statistical physics. The overall objective is to obtain a complete description of the statistical properties of the spray, rather than to solve all the smallest droplets directly. If the atomization process is fully characterized, then it is possible to design new efficient fuel-injectors and cleaner engines.
I combine my fundamental atomization research of with the study of turbulent combustion processes, with the overall aim to reduce emissions and pollutants of energy production and transportation systems. The ideas developed can be used in other challenging problems in fluid mechanics; like for example the prediction of the heat transfer in re-entry vehicles.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)